Iran training thousands of Iraqi militants: Iranian exile figure
Wednesday, 21 March 2007
Agence France Presse - Thousands of Iraqi Shiite militants are passing through terrorist training camps in Iran, a high-profile Iranian exile alleged Tuesday, accusing Tehran of seeking to destabilize its neighbor.
Alireza Jafarzadeh, a former spokesman for the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran, said Tehran was training fighters with light weapons, mortars and the roadside bombs used to such deadly effect against US troops.
"We're not talking about some rag-tag elements
and individuals who go out of their way and happen
to provide weapons or assistance to a number of
Shiite militia groups," Jafarzadeh told reporters in
He said that militants who joined the camps -- alleged to be near Tehran and further south near Jalilabad -- were trained either as special forces, snipers or in the use of anti-aircraft missiles.
Jafarzadeh, who back in 2002 was among the first
to claim that Iran was intent on developing a
nuclear weapons program, said his information came
from well-placed sources inside Iran who could not
Some of the militants allegedly entered Iran disguised either as pilgrims or as people requiring medical attention, while others either crossed the border illegally or with visas issued by Iranian officials in Iraq, he said.
Jafarzadeh stepped down as spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran in 2003. The group is considered a front for the People's Mujahedeen Organisation of Iran, which the United States classes as a terrorist group.